Neighbors’ ‘Fix-it Fair’ comes to outer East Portland

Although the City of Portland ended the hosting of the venerated Fix-in Fairs, find out how other groups put together one of them in the Centennial neighborhood …

At the Centennial Fix-it Fair greeting table we found Simone Crowe; Thrive East PDX Project Coordinator.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After the City of Portland dumped its longtime Portland Fix-it Fairs program, it seemed like the concept of gathering community resources together in a “one-stop-shop” sort of event was dead.

Not willing to deprive neighbors of having a Fix-it Fair, a local organization organized one of its own in Centennial neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, March 30 at the Center Powered by Y.O.U.T.H.  That’s the former location of the Rosewood Initiative NPI.

Gayle Palmer of Thrive East PDX spends a moment with Centennial Neighborhood Association Chair David Linn at the fair.

“This Fix-it Fair is being put on by Thrive East PDX, the city-authorized Coalition that serves the 13 neighborhoods in east of Interstate 205. We produce events like this!” explained the organization’s Gayle Palmer.

“One of the features of our Fix-it Fair is that many of the tables are hosted by our Thrive partner organizations, collectively working together, to share information and resources,” Palmer told East Portland News.

Showing others how to repair garments, with East Portland Collective Morgin  Carpenter at her sewing machine.

Throughout the afternoon, visitors learned things they needed to know at the 20 tables at the fair; others just had repairs done. Guests learned the repair skills of clothes-mending, bicycle repair, home weatherization, and many other topics.

The Coalition’s “Vision Team” – they set the organization’s agenda for the year – decided that this fair, today, would be a good way to showcase their partners, and the opportunities that their member organizations offer, Palmer commented.

Visitors learn about services being offered to help them, right in their own neighborhood, at the fair.

“Here in outer East Portland neighborhoods, there’ve always been a lot of organizations, and activities from many groups working to help the community,” observed Palmer. “But, they have not necessarily been able to effectively share information and resources, and come together to serve neighbors and families with what they really need.

“That’s why Thrive exists,” explained Palmer. “We’re here to help our partner organizations – the ones that provide the direct service –to be as effective as possible.”

Tuning up another bike at the fair is mechanic Ursa Nuffer-Rodriguez from Bike Works by P:EAR.

Learn more about Thrive East PDX by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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